Once Upon a Time Writing Contest: J. Tsuruoka

This entry is by J. Tsuruoka (@jtsuruoka on Twitter)

      The Barefoot Girl
      Rog knew about the Barefoot Girl.
      Sheer white dress, long red hair, pale skin, bare feet. 
      Her laughter.
      She was city legend, whispered among men of a certain…  persuasion.
      See her and your ass is grass,” an associate said.
      “After everything you’ve done you’re scared of a ghost?” he’d asked.
      Rog feared no legend.  The city was his territory.
      He was out hunting when the Barefoot Girl appeared to him by the fountain in Columbus Circle. 
      She smiled at him through the watery haze and then laughed and disappeared into the crowd.
      Her footprints remained on the sun-warmed pavement just long enough for him to track her. 

      It was now after dark.  It might even be the next day.
      The Barefoot Girl had led him on a chase all over the city.
      They were somewhere in the Lower East Side.  Alphabet City, perhaps.  He couldn’t be sure.
      She smiled at him from the mouth of an alley.
      “Almost time,” she said.
      His hunter’s eyes followed her bone-white soles into the darkness of the alley.
      He fingered the handle of his knife in but did not draw it.  He never did until it was time to kill.
      He put on his most lecherous grin and walked into the alley.
      Rog had spent much of his life in the dark but the darkness in that alley was unlike any he’d experienced.
      The city’s noise faded and vanished.
      Rog spun in the dark.
      The lights of a passing car illuminated the alley and in that one second he knew where he was.
      That name stenciled on the dumpster.  That broken fire escape.
      A very hard, very cold, foot hit him in the gut. 
      Another kick crushed his jaw.
      More laughter.  More blows.
      The seventh shattered a knee.  The eighth broke ribs.
      Rog slumped to the pavement.
      Laughter.  Two pale bare feet, cool against his face.
      She reached down and forced him to look, to see his victims- nine women- grinning at him from around the dumpster he left them in.
      Laughter.  Darkness.  Then nothing.


  1. Daniel R. Davis
    Apr 30, 2012

    Well worth the time you spent trimming. Dark and vengeful. Nice!

  2. Cameron Writes
    Apr 30, 2012

    Oooooo – that was a goodie! Very dark (like that) and very empowering (like that even more)

  3. SJIHolliday
    Apr 30, 2012

    Oh wow – evil meets it’s match. Thanks for entering :)

  4. Ang
    May 1, 2012

    Oh my. Did he get his comeuppance or what?!

  5. J. Whitworth Hazzard
    May 2, 2012

    Nice piece man! Very grim and filled with righteous vengeance.

  6. Meg McNulty
    May 2, 2012

    Wonderful dark story! It captured my attention from the get go!

  7. Sarah Barry
    May 4, 2012

    Sweet revenge and empowement. Loved the last few lines especially, as his body was crushed by HER! Dark and satisfying!

  8. Erin Ashby
    May 5, 2012

    Ooooh! Nice twist at the end! Reminded me of the “Mystery Date” episode of Mad Men a few weeks ago (but that’s neither here nor there). Really cool!

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